In 2016, we raised enough at our annual auction to start awarding university scholarships. We award them to our current high school scholars who finish in the top three of their graduating class. We give them a laptop and money for their books and tuition.
You donors will recognize the faces of our university scholars, above. You saw them when they were in high school - they all appeared on videos we played each year at our auction. All of them attend the University of Belize, which has both 4-year and 2-year programs.
The young man in the white coat is Kershaw Cho - our very first university scholar. He graduates in June 2020 with his B.A. in Nursing from the University of Belize after four years of study! He will be returning to his home town of Punta Gorda, to be the first male nurse ever there.
Also in 2020, two of our university scholars will graduate with elementary education degrees! Ernest Cho will return to his village and teach at the San Luis Rey R.C. School. And Diana Bolon graduates and is awaiting her school assignment. Both Ernest and Diana were recognized by us with the Robert and Kay Willson Award, presented by Kale VanBruggen, for being our first scholars to become teachers.
The young man studying at the table is Henry Teck, who is also studying nursing, and has promised the people of his village of San Benito Poite that he will return there when he graduates — to be the village's first medical professional. Henry was Valedictorian at Corazon High three years ago, and has appeared in our annual videos many times speaking from his heart to donors.
Also above, donors will recognize several of our high school valedictorians and salutatorians who are now attending the university on our scholarships - Leon Chub, Luenda Caal, and Lindo Bolon.
The young man holding his University of Belize diploma and wearing our foundation's gold graduation medal is Thurman Parham, Jr. Thurman was given the Barrows Award in Entrepreneurship by Jeff Lamberti for his dream of developing tourism in Southern Belize and building a water park. As Thurman has said, "Everyone from Iowa comes for free!